This review was posted on March 13, 2019 on Best Leather. The original review can be found at https://bestleather.org/william-ross-travel-bag-review/
Hand-crafted for those who live a life on-the-go, the William Ross Travel Bag is designed with a sleek, authentic look that demands attention. Outfitted with full grain leather and durable, weather-resistant canvas, this was something I couldn’t wait to get my hands on. After a few days of using the olive green with tobacco leather model, I am sold.
Delivered with a hand-signed note from, Julene Etzenbach, Founder and CEO of William Ross Travel Bags, I quickly developed a deeper appreciation for the company and bag. Julene launched the company after needing a bag that was travel-friendly, functional, and efficient - meaning, not only was it lightweight, but it could easily fit daily must-have necessities. Needless to say, the Travel Bag was born. Personally signed in blue ink. It's the little things that matter.
Made from twill woven wax canvas, one of the first things that caught my eye was the texture of the material. Outfitted to withstand the elements, I had the unfortunate pleasure of getting caught in some Pacific Northwest rain while using this bag. Inside was my laptop, charger, and mouse, which all remained dry as a bone. For users who are new to wax canvas material, William Ross also includes a note regarding its properties and attention for care.
It’s clear that Julene had travelers in mind when designing this bag. As someone who is constantly switching between my keys, phone, wallet, or headphones, I was instantly attracted to the functionality of this bag. After adjusting the thick, yet malleable, leather shoulder strap to my desired length, I was welcomed by a side pocket that was positioned on the outside of the bag. Being right-handed, I love how user-friendly the side pocket is. I can quickly open and unzip the 9-inch pocket with ease. The last thing anyone wants to do is use two hands to open one pocket while walking.
Another unique quality of this side pocket is the design of the flap. Traditionally, buckles or latches accompany messenger bags. While they prove to be secure and look nice at face value, they aren’t always as functional as we need them to be. Instead, this bag features a pin-closure leather flap, positioned on the front pocket, which can effortlessly be released with no more than your thumb and index finger. This has to be the most undervalued asset of the Travel Bag.
Inside the bag is more room than I’ll probably ever use, but, I’m a person who lives by the principle, “It’s better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.” While I do wish there was more organization to the vast open space, I see this as an opportunity for future outings.
One of my favorite aspects of its interior design is the sleek laptop sleeve. While my Microsoft Surface Pro 3 is a bit smaller than other models, the bag’s pocket can fit laptops up to 12-inches. Even the pocket’s placement is on-par with my ideal setup. Located on the inside of the front panel, I never felt my laptop hit my hip while walking, which is usually the case with most messenger bags.
On the back side of the bag are two smaller pockets. Located closest to your body’s hip, their placement does make it a bit awkward when you’re trying to access items on-the-go. Nevertheless, these make for great ‘hidden’ pockets since spectators can’t see them at first glance. Because of this, the two 7-inch pockets are great for small valuables such as credit cards, cash, or passports.
Complemented by the water-resistant canvas, full grain leather pieces blend beautifully with the bag to deliver an eye-popping presence. I was personally drawn to this model because of its weathered look and tan appearance. Many travel bags seem to complement a niche demographic, whereas this one is designed for everyone.
From a top-down perspective, the bag is even sleeker when you see it from the front. It is comfortable and didn’t slide off my shoulder while out and about - even while walking at a quick pace. The main pocket features two brass zippers, which is perfect for those moments when you want to zip both to one side or meet in the middle.
The other notable feature is its thick leather handle located on top of the bag. Constructed to fit a variety of hand sizes, it’s one more piece of leather that adds to its overall beauty. The leather-to-canvas ratio is flawless and the entire bag flows, stitch to stitch.
All in all, the William Ross Travel Bag is an investment. It’s not a bag that you pick up at your local retailer and end up tearing in a year or two. The price tag may seem high, but it’s competitively priced to be the last travel bag you buy. It sets the standard and nearly puts the bag in a class of its own. Be sure to visit William Ross Travel Bags for more information and related products.